Posts tagged rendering
Love maps? Want to make your own? Now it’s easy thanks to a set of free software.
Previously I wrote about the OpenStreetMap project, which allows anyone to edit a map of the world. People can add points, lines and areas and “tag” them to show what they are. Once the data is uploaded a new version of the map is generated for everyone to see.
For example I could create a point on the map and tag it with “railway=station” to indicate that it is a train station. I could draw a line and tag it with “highway=residential” to mark the line as a residential road. I could also draw an enclosed area and tag it with “landuse=forest” to show that the area is a forest. There are many different tags that can be used to represent all kinds of things that appear on maps.
This article is in the form of a tutorial to get you quickly started creating your own maps. I will introduce the software involved and show how to use it step by step. The result of the tutorial is a map of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, which is a steam train service on a historic train line in England and is featured in the Harry Potter films.
In preparation for a long term project I am working on I created a 3D model of a 3-axis CNC machine in Google Sketchup and rendered it in Kerkythea.
This took quite a bit of tweaking to get exactly the look that I wanted, which is the appearance of the CNC machine inside a large light tent, reducing shadows and a distracting background. I.e. the typical look used for product photos.
I played around with my Sketchup model a bit and vastly improved the flutes on the end mills. Here is a Kerkythea render
Google Sketchup is pretty nice. I’ve tried 3D CAD programs in the past but never really invested the time to climb the steep (for me) learning curve. There was a bit of a learning curve with Sketchup, but once I got into the “right” way of thinking it became easy to use. Now I use Sketchup all the time, from drawing diagrams for my CNC hobby, to modeling home projects.
The one problem with Google Sketchup is, well, the output looks like a sketch. But now I’ve found a free renderer that not only has a plugin for Google Sketchup, but is just as easy to use as Sketchup. It’s called Kerkythea.
Install, run, and follow the quick start tutorial and you will be rendering your Sketchup models in less than a hour.
I recently decided to try and model and render some sprial up-cut and down-cut end mills in Sketchup. The results are below.